Harmonix announces Audica, a new VR rhythm shooter

Harmonix announced Audica today. The new virtual reality rhythm shooter is slated to hit PC early access in just under a month. A trailer showcases the gameplay, music, and style. You could maybe describe Audica could as Beat Saber but with guns.

Harmonix described Audica as a “VR rhythm shooter that combines Harmonix’s award-winning music gameplay with precision shooting mechanics and a killer soundtrack.” It’s a fitting description of the neon-colored rhythm game coming to PC with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Launching into early access on March 7, the game will be available on Steam or the Oculus store. Harmonix’s Dan Walsh said they hope to bring the game to PSVR after exiting early access.

The early access launch will feature ten licensed songs, each with four difficulty levels. Online leaderboards will be running when the game launches on March 7. Harmonix plans to exit early access before 2020 and will have rounded out the soundtrack to over 25 songs. The full release is also expected to include campaign and practice modes, additional environments and weapon sets, and expanded leaderboards.

The game’s Steam page says that Audica “started as a passion project for a small team of developers within Harmonix.” Early access was chosen to help the developers hone the game beyond its core gameplay loop and incorporate community feedback into the game.

Audica is Harmonix’s latest foray into VR rhythm games, following 2017’s Rock Band VR. 2017 also saw Harmonix release DropMix, a tabletop music mixing game that didn’t sell well. Before testing the VR waters, Harmonix re-released Amplitude in 2016 and released Rock Band 4 in 2015.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts based developer was founded in 1995, and its first major title was Frequency on the PS2. The rhythm game was funded and published by Sony for the PS2 and solidified Harmonix as rhythm game developers. Harmonix went on to develop Guitar Hero with RedOctane, and Rock Band under Viacom. The developer was sold by Viacom in 2010 and kept the Rock Band IP. Audica is their first new release since 2017’s Super Beat Sports on the Nintendo Switch.